The Columns

Jessica Steinmetz ’08 Wins Sarah G. Ball Teaching Award

— by on May 14th, 2008

Jessica Steinmetz ’08 of Sacramento, Calif., is this year’s Sarah G. Ball Teaching Award recipient. She is a politics major who also completed the teachers education program.

The Sarah G. Ball Teaching Award was established in 2003 by the Ball family to honor Sarah Ball ’01. It recognizes excellent preparation for teaching in elementary and secondary schools and a commitment to community service. The award is presented to a graduating senior who is committed to teach in a school, which serves a community of learners with diverse needs.

The recipient of the Sarah G. Ball award will receive recognition at Washington and Lee University’s graduation ceremony and a $4000 salary supplement for their first year of teaching, which is renewable for a second year.

Steinmetz plans to teach English in China next year. “As a teacher, I truly believe that one of the most important issues I need to stress is that through education, anything can be achieved,” said Steinmetz.

Steinmetz’s professors are supportive of her desire to teach children with diverse needs. “Jess is an outstanding education student who has taken every opportunity to work in the local schools,” said Lenna Ojure, director of teacher education. “I am glad W&L is able to provide her with recognition and financial support through the Ball Award as she starts her teaching career.”

“I knew within days after Jess enrolled in my introductory course on poverty that she was committed and capable of expanding educational opportunity for the most disadvantaged children,” said Harlan Beckley, professor of religion and director of the Shepherd Poverty Program. “She is not ostentatious about her commitment, but it is part of her.”

The alternate is Yvonne Coker of Forestville, Md.